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How Vertigo is Treated

Growing up, we used to spin around, giving one another dizzy-whizzes, it would be such fun and would fill rooms with laughter! Unfortunately, as an adult, finding the room spinning, when your body isn’t, is just not fun anymore.

Dizzy is a word used to define feeling light-headed, weak or unsteady. Contrastingly, vertigo is used to describe feeling dizzy when your surroundings are stationary. With age, your risk of developing several symptoms that cause dizziness can increase. Although dizziness can be limiting, generally it is not known to be a life-threatening condition.

Some symptoms one may experience if dealing with dizziness include these listed below

younger man sitting at laptop, looking frustratedSigns and Symptoms

  • A loss of balance
  • A feeling that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving
  • Blurred vision after quick head movements
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Faintness
  • Light-headedness
  • Nausea
  • Unsteadiness
  • Weakness

When to Seek Medical Advice

It would be advised to consult a health care practitioner, if you are experiencing vertigo or dizziness along with any new, different or severe headaches, blurred vision, chest pain or irregular heart rates, falling or difficulty walking, hearing loss, leg or arm weakness or loss of consciousness, numbness or tingling sensations or speech impairments.

Doctors can usually determine the cause of dizziness. Once the problem is determined you may require a consultation with an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist or a neurologist. Even if no direct cause is found or if your dizziness persists, prescription drugs and Physiotherapy treatment may help to make your symptoms more manageable.

Treatment

Here at Central City Health Professionals, we tailor your treatment in relation to the cause and symptoms of your dizziness or vertigo, in order to provide you with the best possible treatment.

We offer various types of treatments including these listed below.

Inner Ear Conditions

Balance re-education exercises are applied to treat Labyrinthitis or acute Vestibular Neuronitis. Here at CCHP, our physiotherapists can help develop exercises suited to you, which you can practise regularly at home. These exercises will help to correct any loss of balance by moving your head into different positions.

BPPV

Treatment for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is usually performed using Canalith Repositioning. In this relatively straightforward procedure, your physiotherapist will manoeuvre the position of your head. The goal is to relocate the loosened particles in your ear to a place where they won’t cause dizziness and will be reabsorbed into your body. This procedure has a very high success rate of 90 percent. Although, the process may have to be repeated to get the optimal outcome.

Vestibular Migraine

Initially, to combat vertigo associated with Vestibular Migraines, your Doctor will aim to determine and avoid the triggers for your dizzy spells. From here, they may suggest you avoid certain types of foods, improve your sleep patterns, reduce stress, and exercise regularly. Following this, a physiotherapist can provide you with rehabilitation exercises which will help to adjust your balance system, making you less sensitive to motion. Some medications may prevent attacks of Migrainous Vertigo or reduce their intensity by relieving nausea and vomiting.

Vestibular Rehabilitation

The purpose of rehabilitation?
The way one retains the ability to co-ordinate balance or maintain posture depends on your brain receiving the right information at the right time from your vestibular system. If one becomes overly reliant on information from muscles and joints (Proprioception) or vision, it may mean that new patterns of movements are adopted to make up for the change as to avoid head movements which lead to symptoms of dizziness and nausea. For example, you may always stare at the floor to divert attention from what seems like confusing swirl of activity.
Unfortunately, such changes can lead to headaches, muscle stiffness, neck pain, fatigue, and reduced ability to retrain the brain to adjust to the vestibular problem; this may result in exacerbation of symptoms. Vestibular physiotherapy intends to retrain the brain to identify and understand signals from the vestibular system in coordination with information from vision and Proprioception.

What happens during Vestibular Therapy?
Firstly, your physiotherapist will complete a thorough examination of your balance, posture, movement, and compensatory strategies. Next, they will devise an individualized treatment plan which encompasses the various exercises which to be done in the therapy department and at home. These will incorporate body, eye and head movements. Treatment may also comprise of increasing activities and exercise to increase tolerance and strengthen muscles. Sometimes the exercises and activities can increase vertigo symptoms, as the body and brain adjust to the new pattern of movements. But over time and with practice, the right patterns will form between your senses and will act to reduce or eliminate the symptoms experienced.

How does therapy help?
The majority of people find that through regularly performing prescribed exercises, balance can be enhanced. In this, symptoms including dizziness, fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, nausea and vertigo will be eliminated or reduced. Normally, Physiotherapy alone is so effective, that no other treatment is needed. If surgery is essential to rectify an inner ear problem, therapy will also be an important part of treatment. A Physiotherapist may complete a vestibular evaluation prior to surgery, visit during the hospital stay to aid with the temporary increase in balance problems and may recommend some simple exercises to practise at home once you are discharged from the hospital.

Self-Care

If you experience dizziness, consider these tips:

  • If you experience frequent dizziness, avoid driving a car or operating heavy machinery.
  • Leave the lights on or use a torch when you get out of bed at night.
  • Walk with a cane for stability.
  • When you feel dizzy, sit or lie down instantly.
  • Work closely alongside your GP and Physiotherapist to manage your symptoms effectively.
  • Reduce your caffeine, alcohol and tobacco intake as this can restrict your blood vessels and worsen your signs and symptoms.

If you or someone you know is experiencing vertigo or dizziness, contact us today on 9421 1733 to see how we can help you!

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